Reprint of the Tribute to Alice at the ABCA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Recently Jenny Glen gave a moving tribute to Scott Glen’s dog Alice when she was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame. Scott has won numerous Canadian and American Championships and is a long time Ontario clinician. That tribute is reprinted here.


A Tribute to Scot Glen's Alice 

By Jenny Glen

When I was told Alice had been voted into the Hall of Fame, I immediately asked if I could do her speech.  It’s easy enough to look up her accomplishments: she was a three time National Champion, a National Nursery Champion, a reserve National Nursery Champion, a Canadian Champion and Reserve Canadian Champion. A three-time Western Canadian Champion, a two time Bluegrass Champion, a Soldier Hollow gold medalist and a Meeker Champion. But none of those stats tell Alice’s story and even Scott says, I probably know that the best of anyone as I was the one who chronicled her life and achievements in writing.

I suppose we should start with her mom and dad.  Her proud poppa was Scott’s Don, a two-time national champion who was the son of Star, a three-time national champion. Her mother was Wendy Schmaltz’s Gin.  If you never got to meet Gin, you missed out on a quality dog.  Smooth coated and with the family’s characteristic freckles, Gin could work both sheep and cattle and proved it in 2010 when she won the All Around Stockdog award after being the National Reserve Champion Cattle dog and third place in that year’s Sheep Nationals with a thrilling finish that had all the handlers yelling at Wendy to close the gate of the pen with 3 seconds left in the double lift.

Alice was conceived at Soldier Hollow in 2011 but it was at THIS venue, in Carbondale, that we named her just a mere 2 weeks later. A friend of Scott’s and Colorado sheepdog competitor, Bill Money had recently died and his daughter, Alice, was brought to the trial to spectate.  Scott didn’t think she would remember him, but her mother assured him that Alice had been asking if Scott would be there.  Scott didn’t win that year but when he got the best shed trophy, he was thrilled to hear little Alice’s voice cheering for him in the crowd.  That night he said he wanted to name the pup we got from this Gin x Don cross, Alice, after Alice Money.  Now a note on that… I’m gonna take some credit for the fact that we decided on a pup for a stud fee.  I gotta take my credit where I can.  Alice was out of the second cross with Gin and the first litter was showing promise, so I pushed for getting a female out of the litter.

(A little-known fact… when Alice went to the World Trial in 2017, it wasn’t her first time.  She had actually gone in utero in 2011 when Gin represented Canada). We literally picked her off of a photograph when she was only 3 days old. Speaking of taking credit, I’m gonna take credit for Alice’s training too.  What they learn first they learn best, right?  Well, I was the one who turned Alice on to sheep when she was 10 weeks old. She had never been interested in them as she followed me doing chores so I thought, when we had lambs, that I would get one of those cute, puppy/lamb photographs that you always see.  The trouble was, neither Alice nor the lamb would have anything to do with each other or even stay on the same straw bale so I gave up on the picture and went to grab the lamb to put it back. I missed my catch and as the lamb took off, so did this little fuzzy speckled pup.  Alice immediately got around the lamb, pushed it back towards me and laid down.  I wondered if I had just seen what I thought I had seen and walked away from the lamb.  Alice had no plans of letting it escape and flanked around and balanced it to me again.  This was no accident, and she was actually balancing a single lamb to me at only 10 weeks old.  A couple weeks later I was in the field with her while Scott was working the whole flock.  He told me to be careful that pup didn’t chase off the sheep.  I told him not to worry, look what she could do and showed him how she would go around the whole flock both ways without splitting any off.  That was the last time I ever got my hands on Alice as a working dog…

Scott took over from there and by the time she was 10 months old he could rough out a course with her. Her first trial was on April 27, 2013 at Stirling Acres Farm in BC, when she was 17 months old and she was second and got her first leg towards the nursery nationals. The next day she won it and got her second leg.  After that, Scott didn’t try to win anymore classes.  He used his runs for training her and making sure she did things right.  The result was that when we went to the Nationals in Virginia in 2013, the 22 month old pup wasn’t on anyone’s radar as something to beat.  It was a difficult nursery course with sheep constantly trying to run back to the set out.  Once they were convinced to come down the hill, they ran like deer, but Alice had the magic touch on them. She put enough pressure on the lift so they wouldn’t get back to the set out but as they sprinted away, she opened up her flank and showed the soft touch that would win sheep over the rest of her life. She repeated the technique the second day and, in the end, had won the Nursery Nationals before she was two years old - the same year her father won the open nationals.  The next year she was the reserve nursery champion and moved up into the open class.  Her first win in open was at the Heppner, Oregon trial on March 14, 2015, after that, the year was a pretty typical for what we would come to expect from Alice.  She made the double lifts at Stirling Acres, The Bluegrass, The Canadian Championship and Soldier Hollow.  She also won the first round of the National finals but her wide left hand outrun – a weakness that had to be managed most of her life, caused her to get lost in the semi’s and end her first year a little early. From then on, it was onwards and upwards as she won most of the major trials in North America.

It didn’t take long for Alice to earn full house privileges, although my computer cords suffered for it and you couldn’t leave a dollar bill or ChapStick on the coffee table or you’d only find them again in pieces.  She had a sense of humor and a deviousness to her that was easily forgivable when she gave her awkward eye squinting smile. She and her father, Don, spent most of their time under our kitchen table waiting for the cats to walk by, but she slept on the couch in both the house and the camper and rarely saw the inside of a crate.

She was bred twice to Scott’s Coy and produced some successful pups.  In the first litter, my Grit, who inherited her charming freckles, won a couple open trials and was given the Biggest Heart Award  at Meeker for working during a torrential downpour placing 8th in the double lift.  In the second litter, Scott was 4th in the National Nursery Championships with Laura Esterman’s Kell and his littermate, Tim was the 2022 Canadian Sheep Champion and the 2022 Reserve Canadian Cattle Champion with Scott.  When crossed with Scott’s Meeker Champion, Taff, she produced Roy who was the 2022 Canadian Nursery Champion and the Bluegrass Nursery Champion.

Alice loved her pups, but not as a mother, she loved them as playmates.  Grit was her favorite and it didn’t matter that he wasn’t into playing with dogs, she would stalk him as he tried to ignore her, and then pounce on him and drag him by his scruff until he would agree to pay attention to her.  

In 2021 when she was 9, we figured she would be ready to be retired, but Alice had other plans and we were torn about whether it was actually time to or not.  As Meeker, the last major trial that she had not won, approached we kept saying, wouldn’t it be nice… if only she could go out on top… Alice did not disappoint. In the double lift she did a flawless turn back, a quick shed and then, just to keep us all on the edge of our seats, used almost all of 10 minutes to get that pen saving it until the clock was near to running out.  When it was done, it was clear she had won it and it was the last jewel in the crown for the Queen.

Two weeks later I was sitting with her in the camper just a few days before the nationals would start and Alice had a grand mal seizure. When it was over, her recovery took several hours, and she was agitated and barking nonstop. She ended up having to be sedated at an emergency vet just to get her back to normal.  The likely diagnosis was brain tumor, but we hoped it would be slow growing and she could still run at her last nationals.  We were blown away that she could win Meeker, one of the hardest trials anywhere, just two weeks before the tumor started affecting her. The day before her scheduled nationals run, she seemed normal so we took her to a practice field to make sure she was going to be able to compete.  She needed a few redirects to find the sheep on her outrun but once she was on them, she worked them perfectly.  Scott sent her on another outrun and she still needed help which was odd, but she fetched and drove them with the same finesse as she always had.  He called her in on the shed and she ended up hitting a panel with her head.  That’s when we realized she was mostly blind.  She had no idea where those sheep were or even what kind of ground she was running on.  She went out on those outruns on faith.  Scott asked her to, so she did.  They were so connected that it was hard to tell she was running in darkness.

We scratched her from that finals and we were tearfully honored when the national finals was shut down on the open and nursery fields, during the spot she would have run in, to pay tribute to her and give us a beautiful painting of her.

After the nationals we drove cross country to one more trial in Washington before we headed home.  Alice rode in the back seat of the truck with us, as she always did but when we arrived at the trial, we could tell she had deteriorated even more. She was completely blind and over the next few days dementia set in and she wandered our camper aimlessly.  I stayed up with her each night to keep her from getting stuck behind the table on in a corner and we agreed when we got home in a couple days, it would be time to put her to sleep.

On the last day of the trial, I had wanted to tape Scott’s run with Pip in the double lift.  I had Alice out of the camper to go for a short walk when I realized the trial was going much faster than anticipated and Scott was next.  I had no time to put Alice away, so she went with me to the field. As we came up to spectate, the sheep from the previous run ran past us and Alice lifted up her nose and smelled them.  We continued on and I asked a friend who was a veterinary technician to hold her leash while I videoed the run and if Alice got agitated, I would stop and take her back.  While the run was going on, Alice was quiet as she got a soothing massage, but when Scott and Pip got to the pen, his commands got more urgent.  Alice heard them and started to get frantic.  She was blind and barely knew who she was anymore because of dementia ,- she didn’t really even know who I was anymore, but when she heard Scott’s voice, and realized he needed help, she wanted to go.  The only thing left in that brain was Scott and sheep.

We took her home two days later and I kissed her and told her I would love her forever, as I sent them off to the vet.  I felt that her last moments needed to be spent with just Scott as he was her heart and soul.

I consider myself privileged to have known a great dog like her so well.  To have shared a home and a life with her and cheered her on in all her accomplishments and I’m grateful that she and Scott are in the Hall of Fame together as their partnership was beautiful to watch.  She didn’t leave us empty handed.  Her legacy lives on in her granddaughter, Mist, who is Alice in attitude and work and hopefully, the freckles I see on her great grandson, Butch, are a hint of greatness to come.